Author: Mary Knapp

With severe weather upon us, a listener asked if Kansas really ranks number one in tornadoes. In reality, Texas and Florida would have to argue over the position. Texas ranks number one in the NUMBER of tornadoes. Florida ranks number one in the annual tornadoes per 10,000 square miles. Kansas actually falls as number 4 on the list for number of tornadoes and number 5 on the list for tornadoes per 10,000 square miles. Within Kansas, Sherman county has the record for number of tornadoes with 109 from 1950 to 2016, while Ford County is second with 98. It is important to note, however, this is based on documented tornadoes. Tornadoes in open country or less populated areas may not have been counted, particularly in the early period of the record, before the days of Doppler radar, numerous storm chasers, and handy digital cameras.

Figure 1 Tornado, from NWS archive

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library